Swine flu sparks fears of more livestock-to-human epidemics.
With current confirmed cases numbering 175,785, and fatalities at 1,116 in over 160 countries, experts remind that hundreds of thousands if not millions more swine flu infections are unaccounted for.
Ireland witnessed a surge in cases as 500 people were afflicted in one week, and two people were reported to be in the hospital struggling for their lives. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, the state with the highest number of swine flu deaths nationwide, many schools and universities are extending winter vacation periods, in the hopes that the return of warmth in mid-August will see a reduction in cases.
Also in the southern hemisphere, the hard-hit city of Melbourne, Australia stated that its first wave of the flu appears to be subsiding; however, more deadly second and third waves of re-emerged flu strains are still possible, as is the norm in most pandemics.
Meanwhile, Israeli experts warn of the very real possibility of more virulent diseases other than the swine flu that could emerge, in which viruses are also passed from livestock to become human pandemics. Looking at previous examples such as Legionnaires Disease, AIDS, bird flu and now swine flu, Dr. Shimon Perk, Director of the Avian Diseases Laboratory at the Kimron Veterinary Institute in Israel, stated that it is crucial for veterinary and public health experts to work closely together.
We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Perk and all agencies, researchers and healthcare personnel working to protect lives from this devastating virus. Our prayers are with those who have suffered loss or affliction from this disease. May the dawning truth that swine flu is just one of many present dangers of meat production awaken us to adopt an animal-free diet that ensures our peaceful well-being.
Foreseeing this tragic event several years ago, Supreme Master Ching Hai had designed the Alternative Living flyer and asked our Association members todistribute it worldwide: